February 8, 2016

SEO Basics for the Neophyte or Technically Challenged

Does your site have balls? Eyeballs, that is?

The eyes have it -- use SEO, but not at the expense of meaningful content.

Search engine optimization (SEO) principles work. If they didn’t the practice would become a faded memory lost in the annals of Internet history.

When used properly, SEO techniques and tools can result in high traffic numbers for your site, a lower bounce rate, and more subscriptions. Therein lies the rub – a good amount of content out there does not appeal to sentient beings with opposable thumbs. Anyone who has searched the Internet for information on a specific topic and actually clicked on some of the search results has come across this type of cyber-litter. Don’t add to this problem by publishing similar low-level content.

Savvy Readers Can Spot Opportunistic SEO Content in a Blink

Even if a reader has never heard the term, SEO, he or she probably possesses enough sophistication to rapidly recognize poorly written content and leave the page — never to return. Use SEO principles to your advantage and the advantage of potential fans and subscribers. Write for them, not to them. Gib Gibson recently wrote an article for FWD about how SEO overkill can eradicate your unique writing voice. Don’t let it happen to you.

Four Basic Keys to Open the Door for Search Engine Traffic

SEO copywriting experts use numerous tools and strategies to win the search engine ranking game. As a neophyte SEO content writer, you only need to have, and know how to use, four basic keys: keywords, magnetic headlines, indexing, and SEO URLs. You can learn about the deeper complexities of search engine optimization, once you establish a basic authoritative Internet presence for your website.

The Four Golden Keys to Website Success

  1. Keywords – Use the free Google keyword tool, or a similar one, to research and determine which keywords accurately describe your website or a specific future article. Strategic use of the right keywords represents one of the most effective ways to drive targeted traffic to your site. Use keyword phrases, rather than single words because people usually search for information using snippets of keywords or phrases. Use these keywords in the keyword meta tag area and within the content itself.
  2. Magnetic Headlines – Many people scan headlines when searching for something they want to read. Weak, impotent headlines will lose these people each and every time to a more provocative, magnetic headline. Using your researched and targeted keyword phrases within the headline may greatly add to the chances that your blog or specific article will show up in search engine results. This can prove tricky, as some keyword phrases may seem awkward in a headline. Practice creating flow within a headline using various keyword phrases and it will get easier. To use the keyword phrase, home office organization, craft a headline that may appeal to people searching for information on the topic. For example, don’t title the article Home Office Organization (fail), say something like, How Poor Home Office Organization Habits Sabotage Success (magnetic).
  3. Search Engine Indexing – Get your website indexed by Google and other search engines (i.e. Yahoo!, Bing) based on the keywords that most accurately describe your website content offerings. Go here for instructions on how to get your site indexed on Google. The other search engines have similar FAQs with steps required to index your site.
  4.  SEO-Friendly URLs – Make certain that you use SEO-friendly URLs throughout your website. Not doing this will probably result in loss of potential traffic to sites with SEO URLs. If you use the WordPress platform for your website or blog, you can do this by heading to the Customize Permalink Structure page. For detailed help about this process, go to Search Engine Optimization for WordPress and scroll down to the Permalinks section.

All this may seem daunting at first, but with a little practice and experience, you’ll become a veritable expert in SEO basics. Alternatively, you could hire someone else to optimize your site for you, but everyone needs to experience life outside of his or her comfort zone occasionally. Besides, why pay someone to do something that you can do yourself fairly easily for free?


Photo credit: free-extras.com

About Samantha Gluck

Not only am I the chief editor of this multi-author online magazine, I'm a content creator and social media marketing strategist with a background in journalism, finance, & healthcare. I began my content marketing agency, All Media Freelance, LLC, in 2010 and lead a well-rounded, talented team of multi-channel content strategists and niche writers. I've developed and managed print and digital content projects for health care, fitness, financial services, mental health, non-profit, and automotive publishers, as well as for biotechnology brands.

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